WESTPORT, Conn. -- Ertha Willis operated a bridal shop in Bridgeport until the Great Recession hit and she lost everything.
Willis wound up in a homeless shelter.
“I had no place to stay,” she said. “I had no clothes. I didn't have enough clothes, really, to go out and search for a job.”
She said she was saved by a recommendation to go to Dress for Success of Mid-Fairfield County, a business training and support program for low-income women. It is operated by The Workplace, a not-for-profit workforce development organization serving Southwestern Connecticut.
Dress for Success also provides women with donated business attire and hosts a monthly networking group in Norwalk.
Willis wound up getting a job at a clothing shop in Ansonia.
“If it wasn’t for the professional women’s group in The WorkPlace’s ‘Dress for Success,’ there would be a lot of women that don’t know what they can do,” Willis said. “It made me stronger.”
Dress for Success will host its annual fund-raising auction and wine-tasting party Wednesday at the Westport Arts Center in downtown Westport.
Individual tickets are $40 and can be ordered by calling 203-610-8570 or online at www.dressforsuccess.org/mid-fairfieldcounty .
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